Carl Lawson – Junior / 6’2″ / 260 – Auburn
- 2016: Alabama, Clemson, Arkansas State, Oklahoma
- 2015: Alabama, Memphis, Texas A&M
- 2013: Ole Miss
The Skinny: Lawson is a definite edge bender with quick hands and feet. He slapped around and frustrated Laremy Tunsil in a 2015 matchup. He has the agility and range of a TE. Lawson also plays a little nasty, and that’s a good thing. He could be one those players who may force more penalties than he receives. He is already a player that forces the play. Lawson sets a very hard edge and a lot of the time the ball carrier will have no other choice than to cut back inside.
Since he is a little shorter than most offensive tackles, he uses leverage to get under their pads and push them back. He uses the swim move with great precision. He does play with too of high a pad level often. He also loses when he alligator arms blockers, thinking he is going to eventually push them back. Lawson will need to work on his full arm extension and make his jabs quicker or more instantaneous. By far his biggest weakness is that he forces the play but doesn’t make the the tackle.
An ACL tear after his freshman year (2013, was granted a medical red-shirt) was followed by a cracked hip during his red-shirt sophomore campaign (2015). That injury cost him nearly two months of the season. He was able to overcome all of that to have a very solid 2016 season. Still, that injury history is scarily real and teams will adjust their boards accordingly to calculate the risk factors.
Fantasy Outlook: At his height and weight he likely needs to go to a 4-3 base to remain at DE. If he plays 3-4 OLB his chance of IDP consistently will not be great. In which case he could a very good player in a sack heavy scoring system. With the system still pending, chances are Lawson could be molded into a player that could push the 60 tackle and 10 sack mark annually. He has the athleticism to be that type of player someday. His freakish straight line speed will earn him some pass-rushing snaps as a rookie. He could also make a smooth transition to SLB if asked.
Combine: His 4.67 40-time is like “damn” when you remember he weighs 260 smackers. Lawson’s 35 bench press reps were tied for first amongst all players at the combine. His 7.46 3-cone was not surprising if you have seen enough film on him. His 9.5 broad was a little disappointing but again on film his initial explosion is not elite.
Conservative comparisons are Owamagbe Odighizuwa (via NFL.com) and Bud Dupree. I truly feeling at his best in the perfect scenario he is Cameron Wake with 25 more pounds of body mass.
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